Dan Wilmer Poop ’12

Twelve for 2012
Dan Wilmer, Brooklyn, NY

cover of Japandroids – Celebration Rock   Buy New or Used via Amazon
1. Japandroids – Celebration Rock
It’s been a long time since such a pure, primal guitar rock album connected with me on this level. The song titles tell the story here: “Adrenaline Nightshift,” “Continuous Thunder,” “The Nights of Wine and Roses,” and so on. In the park, in the gym, in the subway – these 8 songs followed me everywhere in 2012. Infectious single: “The House That Heaven Built.”

cover of The Lumineers – The Lumineers   Buy New or Used via Amazon
2. The Lumineers – The Lumineers
The Lumineers are a twee band with a knack for writing catchy folk-inspired songs. As a result, this album saw a lot of spins at the Wilmer household in 2012. We love “Flowers in Your Hair,” “Submarines,” “Stubborn Love,” “Flapper Girl” and of course the hit single, “Hey Ho.” Here’s hoping there’s more where this came from.

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3. Jack White – Blunderbuss
Of everything on the list, this is probably most encouraging. Not only does Jack White make a convincingly solid first solo album post-White Stripes but he does so by pushing himself to explore new sounds and arrangements. This is the beginning of a lot more amazing music. Check: “Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy,” “I’m Shakin’,” and “Sixteen Saltines.”

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4. Woods – Bend Beyond
Bend Beyond is actually this Brooklyn-based quartet’s seventh LP since forming in 2005. It features a number of songs that wouldn’t sound out-of-place on a classic Byrds record. “Cali in a Cup” is fantastic, as is “Back to the Stone” and a number of the others here.

cover of Dinosaur Jr. – I Bet On Sky   Buy New or Used via Amazon
5. Dinosaur Jr. – I Bet On Sky
Dinosaur Jr’s new release, I Bet On Sky, is a showcase of classic J Mascis riffs and his signature songwriting. To me, it’s the second-best album of their storied career after “Where You Been.” It’s got unbelievable guitar shredding, introspective ballads and everything in-between. That the reunited line-up also features new Lou Barlow songs like “Rude” and “Recognition” is just the icing on the cake. Sample: “Watch the Corners,” “I Know It Oh So Well,” and “Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know.”

cover of Murder By Death – Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon   Buy New or Used via Amazon
6. Murder By Death – Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon
Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon is a set of bourbon-fueled tunes that feel sourced straight from the Old West. The songs range from driving stompers like “Hard World” and “Straight At The Sun’” to mid-tempo dirges like “Lost River” and “No Oath, No Spell.” The standout track gets downright jaunty, the Celtic-inspired “I Came Around” – my favorite song of 2012.

cover of Bob Dylan – Tempest   Buy New or Used via Amazon
7. Bob Dylan – Tempest
You either love Bob. Or you don’t. But if you can handle the croaky curmudgeon, there’s much to like in his latest issue. For me, the title track is one of his all-time great narratives, a 13-minute retelling of the Titanic’s last hours. Haunting and beautiful. Try: “Tempest” and “Duquesne Whistle.”

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8. Tame Impala – Lonerism
Discovered this gem very late in the year. It’s super-polished psychedelic indie rock – Sgt. Pepper’s meets the Flaming Lips. Check: “Elephant” and “Feels Like We Always Go Backward”.

cover of Of Monsters and Men – My Head Is An Animal   Buy New or Used via Amazon
9. Of Monsters and Men – My Head Is An Animal
This is my precious, Icelandic indie-darling pick: a band that has been anointed the “next Arcade Fire” by a blogger or three. Hype aside, they are really talented and this album will explode out of your speakers. Try: “Little Talks” and “Mountain Song.”

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10. Spiritualized – Sweet Heart, Sweet Light
Jay Spaceman puts together a heartfelt shoegaze classic. Quieter moments like “Freedom” provide contrast for the bigger songs like “Hey Jane” and the epic, revelatory “So Long You Pretty Thing.”

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11. Tanlines – Mixed Emotions
This was a surprise find for me from a local record store here in Williamsburg. It’s a super synthy homage to 80’s bands like Erasure and New Order. A couple of the best, catchiest tunes include “All of Me” and “Green Grass.”

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12. Silver Age – Bob Mould
This would have to earn the “Most Triumphant Return to Form” award for 2012. 20 years later Bob crafts an album that holds its own against his finest Sugar releases. Sample: “Keep Believing’” and “The Descent.”